An opinion column in the Arizona Republic argues that liberals are engaging in a “standoff” with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) over her stance on voting to end the filibuster rule in the Senate, and that they should leave her alone because it “could blow up essential spending plans.”
Sinema’s refusal to vote against the filibuster allows Republicans to block legislation that is key to the Democratic Party’s agenda in the Senate, although Republicans are not in the majority. Yet, sports and opinion columnist Greg Moore compares “ignorant… or creepy” people protesting against Sinema, such as Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, to a “handsy date who won’t take no for an answer.”
“To all the liberal activists pressing U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over ending the filibuster, are you finished or are you done?” Moore opines.
He goes on to claim that Sinema’s infamous vote against raising the minimum wage to $15, a position she has supported publicly for years, is proof that she will stand behind her convictions because she took part in bipartisan negotiations to create a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.
Yet, despite her and other Democrats working across the aisle on the bill, it has yet to pass the House as there remains bipartisan opposition to it. Sinema has made clear that she will refuse to support President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan calling for a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, simply because she doesn’t want to.
The out Senator’s stance has earned her the praise of several anti-LGBTQ politicians as her position helps them block LGBTQ rights and voting rights legislation. In a recently revealed video, several notoriously anti-LGBTQ politicians, chief among them former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), tell an audience that they should thank Sinema for dooming LGBTQ rights laws.
Moore argues that this is because “Sinema is trying to play the long game” and could use “allies” in supporting her agenda, which Moore believes has the same “goals” as those protesting against her.
Moore says his “guess” here is that “if you just relax, fall back and give her some space to think…. she’s going to figure out how to help you all reach your goals.
“Your goals are her goals. You just have to trust her to not forget where she came from,” he claims.
He does criticize Sinema because she “could be more vocal in her support for voting rights” and she posts on social media too much.
But he also argues that because she still co-sponsors the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and since she knew the bill’s late namesake Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), she “could ensure a generation of minority support in a state with a plurality of minority voters,” although a growing majority of those voters that are her constituents have signaled their wish for her to abolish the filibuster.
When she does “ensure” the support of minority voters, Moore believes “It could be the kind of thing that will help her win the White House one day.”
In the meantime, criticizing and protesting Sinema is a form of extremism, according to Moore, and “We need to avoid extremism every time we encounter it.”
“Hey, team: No means no, OK?” Moore says, conflating Sinema’s political positions that affect millions of Americans to a phrase associated with rape culture, which has been oft repeated by participants in the #MeToo movement.
While several prominent Democrats and activists, including LGBTQ activists, have made clear they’ll oppose Sinema’s reelection if she doesn’t change her position, it is not the first time supporters of Sinema have pushed back on criticism of her as unfair, often because she is a woman and the only out bisexual Senator.
Civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson was arrested outside of Sinema’s office in July as protestors demanded the senator fulfill her campaign promises. Dozens have been arrested over the past few weeks as organizers ratchet up the pressure.
Moore’s column comes a week after Rev. Al Sharpton, Lewis’s brother Greg, and several other civil rights leaders led marches across the nation on the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington. Sharpton and others called for voting rights legislation to be enacted now, with abolishing of the filibuster and other reforms.
Moore is a member of the Republic‘s editorial board, which is traditionally conservative and had only endorsed Republican candidates for President until they endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. They have since declined to endorse any political candidates starting in 2020.
Moore’s defense of Sinema was not well received on social media.
While reading this I went back and forth several times about whether or not it was satire. https://t.co/LWIuqqrb84
— Will Gaona (@Will_Gaona) September 4, 2021
disgusting how “no means no” is being applied to pressuring a sitting congresswoman to vote according to her party and constituents https://t.co/Eyy1dyMzPl
— anti-american football ☭︎ (@ihateshaunking) September 5, 2021
First off, no. We've only just begun on Sinema and clearly it's hitting a nerve. Good.
Secondly? If Sinema helped write the John Lewis Vofing Rights bill? Then why in the hell would she support a filibuster that is keeping it from getting passed? Strategy, my ass. https://t.co/RI0ZBUF3Gk
— Stacey Ma Dukes Hopkins (@staceyhopkinsga) September 5, 2021
No @SayingMoore, hell no. And nobody should be. The "liberals" you seem to so disdain are entitled to their opinions and votes. "Bullying Sen. Kirsten Sinema"? Please spare me.
Hey liberals: Are you finished bullying Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, or are you done? https://t.co/FebqJJ71wX
— bmaz (@bmaz) September 4, 2021
Love to compare pressuring elected officials to sexual assault. Totally a normal thing.
— Misanthropolack (@Misanthropolack) September 4, 2021
Yes, but Mr. Moore does not seem to understand how completely the rock solid never wavering Sinema has completely flip flopped over the years. His scolding opinion piece is a complete joke.
— bmaz (@bmaz) September 4, 2021
a ridiculous person saying something ridiculous to defend another ridiculous person.
— Our Political Press Huffs GOP Talking Points (@KoodzNLades) September 4, 2021
I always take political advice from… checks notes… a sports columnist.
— Lafler Accof (@AccofLafler) September 4, 2021
It's not just "liberals" and it is not "bullying" to call out your Senator for aligning with those destroying our democracy while shunning those trying to save it. We could have this exact same representation if we had elected McSally. But sure give her cover for some attention.
— JZS (@JZSamm) September 4, 2021
What a huge transformation. From a Green Party activist to a very moderate person
— Arshia Homayouni 🍦 🍨 🥁🗳 (@AHomayouniVA) September 5, 2021
She ran as a liberal, liberals voted her into office. They have every right to speak out about her sudden conservative leanings. That's not what they voted for. She lied!
— Mary Ann (@Mapiavva) September 4, 2021
This column is fucking gross and makes a mockery of the word “bullying”. Citizen-activists advocating for change are not “bullying” elected officials- it’s literally democracy https://t.co/vISNYjzt5o
— TJ Helmstetter (@TheTJHelm) September 5, 2021
I understand that Greg supports his Senator but she seems to revel in being antagonistic towards Democrats.
Maybe act like a serious grown up & NOT post selfies wearing a "F*ck Off" ring would help 🤔
— DHendrix (@debrahendrix) September 4, 2021
No, I am not done bullying a politician.
— Shaun says Stop the Republican Recall (@shaun_gains) September 5, 2021
Kyrsten Sinema doesn't care about you, just her political career. –
— Eileen Marie Sarah (@EileenMarieSar1) September 4, 2021